Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pray for the heart kids

Every year about this time we send all our kids with heart murmurs to Mt. Hagen to get an echocardiogram and see if any of them qualify for surgery. We have a lot of heart kids as we call them, and without the echo, we usually don't know exactly what is wrong with their heart. We make guesses, but the echo tells us and the heart surgeons for sure which kind of heart defect they have and if they qualify for surgery. We probably send about 20 kids a year, and usually about 4-5 get to move on to the next stage. The next stage is Lae, where they see another doctor who does more screening to see if they qualify for surgery. The surgery is done in Port Moresby, very far away and expensive for many of our patients. However, this also may be the only chance these kids will have of being able to have heart surgery. The doctors who do the surgery come from Australia and only comes once a year. Many times the kids have a defect that could be surgical, but because the heart defect has caused complications of their lungs (pulmonary hypertension), they no longer qualify for surgery and are just given medicines and told to go home. So if the parents miss the chance for their kid to go to POM, the next year may be too late.
In years past, Airlines PNG has provided a ticket for the patient and their parent to travel from Lae to POM and then back to us in Hagen. This year when Susan contacted them, she was told that we wouldn't be able to count on the free tickets this year, but one of the staff, Fiona, wanted to help and said she would get back to her. Praise God Fiona was able to find some businesses which were willing to help out, and we have enough money for 5 kids and their parents to go to POM. 5 just happens to be the number of kids who need to go this year, which Fiona didn't know when she told Susan how much money had come in.
Pray for the 5 kids and their families. I know the names of 2 - Rose, pictured on the R, who has just the cutest smile. She has a PDA - patent ductus arteriosus, where a connection between the blood that leaves to go to the lungs and to the rest of the body still exists from utero. Abel (seriously is the 2nd twin and his brother's name is Cain, but Cain isn't sick) has TOF or Tetralogy of Fallot. TOF is pretty bad, there are 4 defects that together cause Abel's body not to get oxygenated blood, and so his saturation is in the 60s most of the time. Pray that they might be able to get surgery.
Pray for their families to find the money they need to get to Lae. Pray for the doctors to have wisdom in choosing who they are able to operate on. Pray that any of our kids who qualify would be able to go and there wouldn't be any problems with the tickets or money issues for the patient in POM getting food and what not. Pray that while the child and parent are away from the rest of their family while in Lae or POM, that they would know that God is watching over them all.
If anyone would like contribute to help out these kids, or future heart kids you can send a check to General Treasurer Church of the Nazarene, mark "Work of Susan Myers - PNG - Heart Help" Send this to P.O. Box 843116, Kansas City, MO 64184.